Friday, July 7, 2017

Justin Verlander Will Likely Be Traded This Month…

Okay so maybe this is a bit of a reach here but I like to personally leave no stone unturned when it comes to the July 31st trading deadline so excuse me if I didn’t at least pay attention when I heard that the Detroit Tigers would all but trade Justin Verlander at this year’s deadline. The Yankees need pitching help, both in the rotation and in the bullpen, and while Verlander is not the Verlander that he once was you always wonder if a change of scenery is good for a veteran pitcher. That and I’d love to have Kate Upton back in the Bronx with a Yankees hat on, sue me. ---
Al Avila, the Detroit Tigers GM, has all but confirmed to the media and to Verlander that the team is going to trade him so let’s not focus on the “if,” let’s focus on what it would presumably cost for the rebuilding Tigers to part with Verlander and trade him to the Yankees. Also would Verlander be willing to waive his no-trade clause to pitch anywhere besides Detroit? 

When interviewed this week about the possibility of waiving his no-trade clause Verlander simply responded with a “wait and see.” That’s political correctness for “Yes, I would waive my NTC but the deal would have to make sense for me.” We have seen it too many times before, we know that “wait and see” means. Wait and see means he wants the team to approach him and look like the “bad guy” rather than saying “sure I’d waive it, get me the hell out of here and to a contender.” So in a nutshell, yes I think Verlander would waive his NTC to come to the Bronx. 

Like any trade it is going to come down to what the Tigers want in return from the Yankees. The Yankees and Tigers were frequent trade partners when Dave Dombrowski was their general manager so I’m sure there are scouts and personnel who are still friendly and familiar with Brian Cashman and company but I honestly and truly don’t know what the Tigers need and lack in their system. Would I give up Chance Adams, Justus Sheffield, Clint Frazier or any top-tiered prospects for Verlander? No. Would I give them Jorge Mateo and a few prospects that are far away from the Major Leagues but have upside? Sure, I would. That’s about as high as I would like to go though, personally. 

Verlander is 5-5 this season and is scheduled to start tomorrow against the Cleveland Indians. Verlander himself credits the lack of a changeup for his struggles in 2016 and 2017 as he lost a feel for the pitch while working extensively on his slider last season. Verlander is said to be back working extensively on his changeup this season and feels as though this season would have gone much differently had he had that changeup in his back pocket in certain situations. Verlander is owed $56 million for the next two seasons and has a vesting option worth $22 million for the 2020 season if he finishes in the top five in Cy Young award voting though which may make him too expensive for the Yankees with their austerity budget that is coming. 

Would I make the trade? Yes, assuming the prospect price is low or reasonable. Would the Yankees make the trade though? With that kind of money on the books and Bryce Harper and Manny Machado on the horizon, probably not. Stay tuned to find out though. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)